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Lake Okeechobee To Reach Near Historic Heights After Irma

The sun sets behind the lock and dam on Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie Canal.
Amy Green
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Water managers expect Lake Okeechobee will rise to near historic levels after Irma.

They will begin sending water east Friday.

Lake Okeechobee is expected to reach as many as 17 feet as storm water continues to drain from central Florida to the Kissimmee River and eventually the state’s largest lake.

That would be the highest level in more than 10 years. But Laureen Borochaner of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the lake’s dike is in good shape after Irma.

“We had no observed seepage or piping, and the only thing that we did observe was limited erosion, what we would consider minor erosion associated with storm surge and wave action.”

Managers say dike inspections will increase as the water rises and that at more than 18 feet the dike is considered untested. They say they will send water east because the west is at capacity.

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Amy Green